Arthur W. O’Connor

November 25, 1933 - April 20, 2023
Arthur W. O’Connor

Memorial Gifts & Donations


Arthur William O’Connor passed on from this life on April 20th. Art was born November 25, 1933 in Chester PA to Arthur D. and Margaret Alberta (Hawkins) O’Connor. He was awarded a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania Military College (now Widener University). He married Doris Jeanne Nelson after graduating from college, and served two years in the U.S. Army, discharging as a First Lieutenant. He then received an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, and went into manufacturing management, beginning with Westinghouse Electric Corp, where he worked on the development of the Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine. In Wilmington, Art served as plant manager for the Climate Control Division of the Singer Company. Art and Doris grew fond of the area, and eventually retired to Wilmington.

During a lengthy career in the corporate world, Art and Doris relocated to six different states, raising four children along the way. Family life was very important to Art, and his nights and weekends were often spoken for with ball games, dance recitals, or PTA meetings and vacation time was always a family affair. Art was a lifelong learner and a prolific reader. He was a great storyteller, and delighted in recounting tales from his youth, many of which were instructional as well. When he had time, Art enjoyed golf, fishing, and billiards, and was an avid spectator sportsman. When his children were grown, he turned to volunteer work, including Meals on Wheels and serving as an instructor in a groundbreaking prisoner education program.

Art is survived by Doris, his wife of 68 years. He is also survived by his children, daughters Cindy (Charles) and Leslie, and sons Art Jr. (Debbie) and David (Kerri). He is also survived by ten grandchildren, including granddaughters Jessica (Keith), Kaitlyn (Andrew), and Nadya; grandsons Daniel (Gabrielle), Jason (Kelly), Adam (Jill), Connor, Christopher, Jack and Jimmy; as well as four great-grandchildren, Jovie, Daniel Jr., Cian, and Emerson Rose. Art always said that his greatest legacy was these younger generations.

Memorial donations may be made to LifeCare of the Lower Cape Fear or to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wilmington.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, April 29th with light refreshments to follow at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wilmington, 4313 Lake Avenue. Casual attire welcomed.

Share memories and condolences by visiting the “Tribute Wall”.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 29403 910-791-9099.

Tribute Wall

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  • April 28, 2023
    Dave O'Connor posted an image:
    Best father a boy/ man could hope for.
    Best father a boy/ man could hope for.

  • April 23, 2023
    Shanon Wright says:
    I am so grateful that my children had the chance to meet and spend time with Uncle Art. I can pass on all the special memories I have of him, and my girls can share their memories of him as well. I will continue to pass down one of the most important lessons I learned from Uncle Art: "If you don't use it, you lose it!" That single piece of advice will always mean so much to me!

  • April 23, 2023
    Shanon Wright lit a candle:
    Lit since April 23, 2023 at 4:51:09 PM

  • April 23, 2023
    Sarah Wright lit a candle:
    Lit since April 23, 2023 at 4:39:04 PM